Myocardial stress in patients with acute cerebrovascular events

Cardiology. 2008;110(2):123-8. doi: 10.1159/000110491. Epub 2007 Oct 31.


Signs of myocardial involvement are common in patients with acute cerebrovascular events. ST segment deviations, abnormal left ventricular function, increased N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), prolonged QT interval, and/or raised troponins are observed in up to one third of the patients. The huge majority of these findings are fully reversible. The changes may mimic myocardial infarction, but are not necessarily identical to coronary thrombosis. Based on the literature these signs may represent an acute catecholamine release provoked by the cerebrovascular catastrophe itself and not coronary thrombosis. However, all patients with signs of cardiac involvement during acute cerebrovascular events should receive a cardiological follow-up in order to exclude concomitant ischemic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Catecholamines / blood
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Troponin / blood
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology


  • Catecholamines
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Troponin
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain